I had never made soba noodles for myself until last summer, when I got inspired by one of Theodora’s soba noodle bowls and picked up some pre-cooked, cold noodles from the store. So easy, so fast, so tasty — and yet, they didn’t enter my regular rotation.
The other day, though, I was wandering my lovely local market and suddenly remembered those cold buckwheat noodles — what a simple, easy dinner they’d made on a night when I barely wanted to turn on the stove. I couldn’t find the pre-cooked ones, but I picked up a bag of uncooked noodles and figured I’d be able to handle making them cold on my own.
The inspiration for everything else was a pasta salad I used to make back in college — salami, cheese, red onion — but spicier and fresher. I spent a long time choosing the sausage, but once I picked andouille, everything else followed.
The one (minor) fail was the garlic oil I attempted to use as dressing. I went into this meal expecting to top the noodles with chili-infused olive oil, but apparently we ate it all — used it all? Do you really “eat” olive oil? — and so I tried to fake some garlic oil by cooking a few whole cloves of garlic in a few tablespoons of oil over low heat while I prepped the rest of the dish. It turned out OK but not very garlicky, and if I were to do this again, I’d make a vinegar-based dressing instead; the oil weighed things down a bit too much. The flavors meshed well, though, and only got better after a day in the fridge, so if you’re looking for a simple meal with serious leftover potential, this might be the ticket.
Spicy Soba Noodles with Sausage
Soba noodles, dry or cooked and cold; I prepared 4 servings
Red bell pepper, cut into chunks
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
Sausage of your choice; I used two Aidells links
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil/vinegar/your choice of dressing
1. Prepare the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package; once they’re done, drain in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water to cool them down.
2. Cut the sausage into coins and grill or saute them until cooked/heated through. (You can cut the coins smaller once grilled; I ended up quartering mine.)
3. Rinse the pasta pot with cold water so it’s nice and cool, and dump the noodles back in. Add the cooked sausage, bell pepper, and green onions, and toss well. If you’re using any sort of dressing, add that now too.
4. Season to taste; I ended up using a lot of red pepper flakes and just a dash of chili powder, and I could have used more of both.
5. Eat for days. If you have time to pop this in the fridge before you serve, even better; I liked it best at its coldest.